Canadian Cannabis Industry Workers Being Targeted At US Border with Lifetime Bans
As Canada moves towards full legalization and Trump moves towards alienating our nearest neighbor and one of our largest trading partners, now the United States is apparently banning entry to all Canadians associated with that country’s legal cannabis industry. The ban is for life and includes people who do not consume cannabis.
As it is, admitting to U.S. Customs agents to ever having smoked marijuana can get you banned.
Despite Washington State having legal recreational cannabis within its state boundaries, the 5,525-mile border between the U.S. and Canada falls under federal jurisdiction. In that cannabis, along with drugs such as heroin and cocaine, remains a Schedule I substance, past or current association with it is considered a federal crime in the United States.
Now, in addition to those who admit using marijuana, Canadians who are involved with the cannabis economy are being labeled as “inadmissible” because they are considered to be living off the profits of the “drug trade.”
Once banned for life from entering the US, individuals must seek legal waivers from an immigration lawyer, usually valid for between one and five years, for the rest of their lives, each time they cross the border.
A Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs press officer for the U.S. State Department told Canada’s The Star via email that “admission requirements into the United States will not change due to Canada’s legalization of cannabis.”
A Washington-based immigration lawyer told the newspaper that he has heard from Canadians seeking waivers for inadmissibility to the United States because of cannabis at least once or twice a week – up from one or two cases per year 15 years ago.
They are getting paid by Canadian cannabis industry, which is making money through marijuana, said the lawyer. It does not matter if they consume now or have never consumed cannabis.
Full legalization is expected to be in place in Canada by October 17, 2018, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.